According to the UK’s Manchester Evening News, although this summer’s transfer window has not closed for a few days, Manchester United have already identified Declan Rice as the club’s main midfield target for next summer’s transfer window.
The option of signing Rice, 22, from West Ham has been discussed by United’s hierarchy during a transfer planning meeting held during the international matchday.
Rice’s contract does not expire until 2024, but having recently rejected West Ham’s offer of a new contract, next summer could be the ideal time for him to move on.
West Ham could agree to sell Rice next year as he will only have two years left on his contract by then and any further delays would see the transfer price drop.
Solskjaer had hoped to bring in a new midfielder in this summer’s transfer window, but after the signings of Sancho, Varane and Ronaldo, he knew the club could no longer afford to buy a midfielder.
The midfield at Manchester United
Pogba’s stay at United has resulted in the club not making changes to the personnel in the midfield area this summer. But that could change at any time in the future, with Pogba already entering the final 10 months of his contract with United.
The future of Dutch midfielder Van Der Beek, on the other hand, is increasingly uncertain, as he has not played in any of the three games in August.
Meanwhile, none of the midfielders approached by United have been able to successfully complete a move this summer. Saúl Negus chose Chelsea, Camavinga had his heart set on Spain, having just made his debut at Real Madrid, and Ruben Neves opted to stay with Wolves.
Rice is naturally interested in United, having discussed the possibility of playing for the Red Devils with United captain Maguire and Luke Shaw when he was in the England squad in March, and in April, United director of football John Mutaf and technical director Darren Fletcher confirmed their interest in Rice at a fans’ forum.
United’s other target
According to rumours, the other position United are looking to bring in next summer is centre forward. However, although Haaland has a £65 million break clause in his contract with Dortmund, his weekly wage and Mino Raiola’s extremely high commission would cost a total of £500 million in funds to bring him in!
Furthermore, Harry Kane, who stays at Tottenham, is also on United’s list of considered signings, according to ESPN, but his transfer fee is £200m. So instead of that, bringing in Rice seems more realistic and it is also the position that the team needs to strengthen most urgently.
In the forward line, United have signed Cristiano Ronaldo for two years, with a one-year priority extension, meaning the Portuguese superstar could be with the Red Devils for three years.
In contrast, United’s backline is currently well-stocked, but with the 33-year-old Matic likely to leave next year, Pogba’s contract not renewed and Van Der Beek’s future in doubt, Solskjaer needs a midfielder who is really good at defending
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